Peaty, who has won two golds and a silver at Tokyo 2020, including retaining his men’s 100m breaststroke said athletes were under “huge amounts” of pressure and that he had “averaged two weeks off a year for the last seven years.”
The swimmer announced he would take a month off for a mental and physical break ahead of the World and European Championships and the Commonwealth Games in 2022. He will also skip the International Swimming League held next month to focus on his mental health.
“Reading some of the comments in response to this is why we have such a stigma around mental wellbeing in sport. It isn’t a normal job. There is a huge amount of pressure. Money does not buy happiness. I’m taking a break because I’ve been going extremely hard for as long as I can remember. I’ve averaged two weeks off a year for the last seven years. Unfortunately there are people out there who think they know you more than you know yourself,” he added.
As he announced his decision to take a short break, Peaty cited American gymnast Simone Biles and England cricketer Ben Stokes as others competitors who have decided to step back from the pressures of sport.